In this photo from Tuesday, June 13, 2017, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein testifies before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee on Capitol Hill in Washington, where he said he’s seen no basis for firing Robert Mueller, the former FBI director he appointed as special counsel to oversee an investigation into potential coordination between the Trump presidential campaign and Russia. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Democrats are waiting to seize upon and to exploit any and all statements in the Mueller report, which is expected to be released on Thursday.
The report will be as embarrassing to President Trump as possible. It will feature many of his angry tweets. It will describe the many occasions on which Trump ranted about firing Mueller. There will be references to his one-night stand with Stormy Daniels, his relationship with Karen McDougal and payments of hush money.
But we already know that.
The truth is that it doesn’t really matter what the report says. After weathering nearly three years of negative headlines, Trump was exonerated last month.
What remains is pure theater from a group of rabid anti-Trumpers who spent 22 months conducting a bogus investigation that was both unnecessary and likely illegal. Any evaluation of the report should take into account that this probe was merely the end result of an “insurance policy” prearranged by a cabal of deep state operatives in the event Donald Trump won the presidency.
It was inappropriate for Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to have appointed a special counsel in the first place.
The rules governing special counsel investigations call for three conditions to be met. First, there must be evidence that a crime has been committed. Second, the law calls for an “outsider” to be appointed. Third, the special counsel is required to select a bipartisan team of investigators.
Rosenstein disregarded all three of these criteria. As we’ve learned from the testimony of FBI lawyer Lisa Page, there was no evidence of a crime either at the time the FBI initiated Crossfire Hurricane in July 2016, nor when Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller to the special counsel in May 2017. Next, he chose Robert Mueller, who was the quintessential Washington insider. He was also a very close friend of former FBI Director James Comey. Finally, he allowed Mueller to preside over a team of highly partisan, virulently anti-Trump Democrats, most of whom had donated to Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
So, the deck was clearly stacked against Trump from the start.
Mueller and his team wanted desperately to find a crime which could be used to impeach President Trump. If they hadn’t known initially that Trump had not colluded with the Russians to win the election, they certainly knew early on. So they turned their attention to obstruction of justice charges.
There were two possibilities here. The first was that Trump obstructed justice when he told Comey that he hoped he could “see his way to letting Flynn go.” He did not order Comey to do so. He merely said he “hoped.”
Given the fact that a president is granted the power to pardon all federal crimes, either before or after conviction, they soon realized that Trump’s statement did not amount to obstruction of justice.
The other opening was to claim the President fired Comey to end the FBI’s investigation into whether or not he had colluded with the Russians. This was foolish because Trump knew the investigation would continue whether or not he fired Comey. Additionally, a president can fire government employees “whose posts are appointed by the President.” They serve at the pleasure of the President.
Frustrated by his team’s inability to find evidence of collusion or obstruction, Mueller and his top henchman probably included in the report whatever they reasonably could to damage and/or embarrass him.
The Mueller Report’s language regarding exoneration sounds like an attempt to keep the focus on Trump even though he has not been found guilty of a crime. In his four page summary, Attorney General William Barr wrote, “The Special Counsel states that ‘while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.’”
Why did Mueller say this in the report? His job is to determine if a crime was committed, and if so, he can issue an indictment. The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway writes, “Americans are innocent until proven guilty. It is not [Mueller’s] job to “exonerate” someone. The language was a bit cute.”
Yet, Mueller goes out of his way to create the impression that it’s not over for Trump, because he wasn’t exonerated. In leaving the legal conclusions to the Attorney General, he makes Barr a target of the left.
Barr addressed this in his summary: “The Special Counsel’s decision to describe the facts of his obstruction investigation without reaching any legal conclusions leaves it to the Attorney General to determine whether the conduct described in the report constitutes a crime.”
Barr and Rosenstein went through the report, consulted with department officials, applied the principles of federal prosecution that guide decisions about whether to charge someone with a crime, and “concluded that the evidence developed during the Special Counsel’s investigation is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense.
Mueller’s decision to force Barr to make the determination was deliberate.
Then, after Barr drew his conclusions and sent out his summary, stories appeared in The Washington Post and in The New York Times saying that Mueller team investigators were “incensed that Barr had gotten to “set the narrative” by summarizing the report’s conclusions instead of letting them set the impeachment-for-obstruction narrative.”
Anyway, the release of the Mueller report will mark the end of Trump’s bondage. He may even release a rebuttal of his own.
He will also be free to release the unredacted FISA Court applications and other related documents that will prove wrongdoing by those who plotted against him.
There is too much evidence of misconduct to turn back now.
I’ll leave you with an interesting comment Ken Starr made during an appearance on Laura Ingraham’s show last week. Starr was referring to Barr’s comment that “Spying did occur.”
Here is my take, Bill Barr knows something Laura. He knows something. He says, I have a concern and I believe I have a basis for that concern. Anyone who knows Bill Barr knows he doesn’t just say things. He thinks about them. He’s careful with what he says. And I think if Bill Barr says I think there is a basis for my concern, he doesn’t say what it is, that is a “stay tuned America.